Many of the AKB girls have been given a book to read and do a book report on in partnership with Shueisha for their “Natsuichi Toshokan” project. Okada Nana’s essay was on “Tori ga Oshiete Kureta Sora”, a novel by blind author Sannomiya Mayuko. Here is the original source for Nana’s essay [鳥が教えてくれた空]
Okada Nana: “The Sky the Birds Taught Me Of”
The author of this book is Sannomiya Mayuko-san. She said that when she was only four years old, she lost her eyesight and was bereft of light.
My own eyesight is fine.
I’ve never thought of what it would be like to live everyday life without being able to see.
I’ve just been living by relying on the things I can see. Being that I am this way, when I read this book, I was surprised by many things.
First is the cries of the sparrows that we inadvertently hear every day. When I heard a sparrow sing, I never thought anything but “Oh, it’s a sparrow, how cute”. Honestly, my interest in them ended there.
But in the sparrow’s cry and the way it sings…
About what time it is, what the weather is like, what kind of landscape is before me, the fact that all of that can be understood from a sparrow’s cry is truly amazing to me.
One other thing is the matter of playing games like ‘Hide and seek’ or ‘Red Light/Green Light’ normally with friends. If it was me, I would say “I’m sorry, I can’t see” and decline the offer to play with them.
The number one thing I thought about when I read this book was the number of things I don’t think about in everyday life and the fact that because they cannot see, the blind can understand and feel nature.
By reading this book, for the first time I’m interested in the cries of birds. Lately, when I heard birdsong in my house, I go to the window and listen closely for it.
After becoming blind, I think Sannomiya-san must have felt pain such as I can’t imagine. I deeply respect Sannomiya-san, who overcame that and has been able to live positively while having fun.